The photographs of the young Turkish artist Melissa Mizrakli focus on the human body, giving it a personal interpretation.
A fan of photography since her early childhood, Mizrakli graduated from Yeditepe University in Istanbul, Interior Decoration Department, and continued her higher education in London, where she started out her work as a photographer. Later on, she moved to New York to further develop her career as a photographer and enrolled in classes at the Photography Department of the New York Film Academy. She received a Master’s Degree in photography in Los Angeles, where she is currently based. Mizrakli has conducted many shooting sessions for Mica Studios and Bullet Magazine in New York and had two solo exhibitions in Los Angeles. She has recently participated in the Contemporary Istanbul Exhibition (November 2013).
In some of her black and white works she uses the human body only as a pictorial sign in order to create almost abstract works. First made anonymous, the female model is then cloned and circularly multiplied. The result is a kind of wheel in which the repeated human body gives birth to a new, seemingly vegetal or mineral structure. Thus, the human element seems to be transformed into different other natural species. Rendered in two versions (positive and negative) this couple of works also calls to mind the yin-yang principle.
The most striking and particular aspect of her works is the recurrent motif of bubbles / dots that either completely replaces the heads of her models, or encapsulates them and makes them visible through transparency. It’s like another way of highlighting the uniformitarian rules of the globalized contemporary society and the tendency towards standardization and mechanization of human feelings and attitudes. The standard women’s gym uniforms and the identical men’s suits and ties emphasize this impression. The only element bringing a note of ineffable and human warmth is a top lace garment with sparkling rhinestone detailing that adorns the breast of some of her female models. Thus, they could be placed at the mid-road between the perversity of doll-women – like those constructed / deconstructed by the Surrealist artist Hans Bellmer – and the innocence of young girls.
The mirroring or the reflecting effect, creating multiple symmetries, is also reminiscent of a standardized world. On the other hand, Mızraklı’s works could express the belief that communication among people relies on synchronized movements, adopted mostly unconsciously.
When asked to comment of her photographs, Mizrakli only states: “They are whatever you see when you look at them…”, to prevent herself and her works from being labeled.